Six centuries later, the Society of St. Edmund was founded at Pontigny. The Fathers of St. Edmund opened apostolates in France, Canada, England, the United States and Venezuela. St. Edmund of Canterbury is remembered in France, England and America for his faithful life of love of God. In France, where he is buried, St. Edmund is known as the patron saint of afflicted and stillborn children. Edmund himself was considered a stillborn baby, showing signs of life only after the waters of baptism were poured over him.
In England, where he was born, St. Edmund is known as a peacemaker. In 1233, England was on the verge of civil war. When King Henry III brought in a foreign army to crush the rebellious barons, Edmund left his country parish to confront the King and plead for peace. Where experienced statesmen had failed, Edmund succeeded by sheer moral force, directed by God.
The Edmundites keep their patron’s memory alive by following his example of service to others. The Fathers of St. Edmund try to be, as Edmund was, “eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, father of the poor and friend to strangers in trouble.”
St. Edmund’s Prayer
“Lord, into your hands and into the hands of your holy angels, I entrust this day my life, my relations, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all people. By the merits and prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, keep me, Lord, this day from all vicious and unruly desires, from all sin and temptations of the devil, from sudden unprovided death and the pains of hell.Enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit; grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments; never let me be separated from You, living and reigning with God, the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen."